Putting something back

Part of the OBJECTIVES of the Nagoya Protocol is about  "...sharing the benefits arising from the utilization of genetic resources...".
In essence "PUTTING SOMETHING BACK".

As BOTANICAL SPECIMENS (indeed even PHOTOGRAPHS of plants) and SEED could be viewed as 'genetic resources', access to these must be considered - though the main focus of the Nagoya Protocol is clearly on POTENTIAL EXPLOITATION of  'genetic resources' by multinational drug companies.  Who would argue that the peoples of Himalayan or any countries of the world should not get their FAIR share of any MONEY made from resources originating in their country? 

So what has Chris Chadwell "shared" (and tried to share) with the botanists and people of the Himalaya following his expeditions - long before Nagoya came into force?

Assuming access to the botanical specimens, seed and even photographs is correctly interpreted as constituting a 'Genetic Resource', any USE, should quite reasonably involve a RETURN for the country of origin.  This MIGHT have been FINANCIAL but as I do not make a profit (and have always paid fairly, indeed generously when visiting the Himalaya) along with always treating the individuals and institutions I have been associated with respectfully when in the Himalaya), then it can be in other ways.

Chris as key-note speaker at the 2nd Kohli Commemorative Event in Delhi - who do you think paid his air-fare and other expenses to travel to India?  Chris Chadwell.  Who has "put back" more than almost anyone ever has?  Chris Chadwell.  Who was willing to do even more but no interest has been shown by local botanists or at a government level?  Chris Chadwell.  Who has gone to extraordinary lengths trying?  Chris Chadwell - yet now he finds individuals determined to portray him an unfavourable light! Strange old world.


Do I go to considerable lengths to share the research/knowledge/expertise I have accumulated whilst studying Himalayan flora?  MOST CERTAINLY.  A quick look at this web-site demonstrates this.  Both as a freelance botanist and through the 'Himalayan Plant Association' I jointly set up and am Secretary/Editor of.  I have for years offered a FREE identification service for plants photographed in Ladakh specifically and the whole of the NW Himalaya (and Indian Trans-Himalaya).  Recently, I have joined efloraofIndia googlegroup (see: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/indiantreepix) and am already making a significant contribution helping to identify the images of plants posted taken in the Himalaya - often with detailed association information).

Then there are my assorted plant conservation projects.  Along with projects I am proposing.  I have bent-over backwards trying to engage with Indian institutions and individual botanists.  EVEN MORE could have been done if interest had been shown on their side.  I was consultant to The Royal Government of Bhutan (in the 1990s) on the 'Cultivation of Medicinal Plants' Project. A GREAT waste I have not been invited on other occasions - often my services were offered FOR FREE.  What more could I do?

Chris honouring a doctor of traditional Tibetan Medicine with a Kohli  Memorial Gold Medal


Nobody has EVER done more for the flora of the Western Himalaya.  I am the leading authority on the study, cultivation and conservation of Himalayan flora (and MODEST too - please note this is an example of ENGLISH humour) - as a result of "utilization of genetic resources" of this region.

I HAVE already PUT BACK  a lot(starting long before NAGOYA, CITIES or the CONVENTION on BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY existed) and still COULD, IF certain governments wished it, do MUCH, more.  It is my intention to continue contributing through various projects, such as my DIGITAL REFERENCE/PLANT IDENTIFICATION GUIDE TO THE FLORA OF THE WESTERN HIMALAYA.  THIS IS VITAL, AFTER ALL, AS I HAVE TRIED TO EXPLAIN, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PROTECT/CONSERVE BOTANICAL DIVERSITY UNLESS INDIVIDUAL SPECIES ARE CORRECTLY IDENTIFIED FIRST AND THEIR ABUNDANCE OR RARITY RELIABLY ASSERTAINED. THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

I boldly ASSERT that what I, in splendid isolation, without the resources of GOVERNMENTS, am doing more good towards PROTECTING the flora of the Himalaya than NAGOYA ever will!!

How about some support and encouragement from the media, international conservation bodies and governments?  It would cost them very little - much less than they WASTE each year as it is!

It is the PEOPLES of the Himalaya that matter the most and the FUTURE of children - not the remaining years Chris Chadwell and those in positions of power to influence what happens to the environment of the Himalaya - Chris is it seems, powerless to influence events.  Who would you trust?


To repeat, I DEEPLY care about the PLANTS, ENVIRONMENT and the PEOPLES of the Himalaya.  Anyone reading this who does, should back me.  This has yet to happen amongst the "powers-that-be", indeed I am currently unfairly being "picked on".  I am struggling to make sense of this.  I appreciate the kind moral support which some individuals are providing.

If anyone doubts/questions the ACCURACY or VALIDITY of my comments/statements on this web-site, feel free to contact me- I ALWAYS have further evidence to back-up what I have to say.  Though who is interested in constructive efforts these days?  I even, rightfully, draw attention to the debt I owe to the late Prem Nath Kohli - this remarkable man deserves international recognition.  It is a reflection on our world that when a GOLD MEDAL was awarded by the ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY for HIS efforts collecting plant material to be grown in the gardens of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle in the 1920s and 1930s, it was his senior forestry officer who TOOK the award and credit (this officer mostly just sat in his office).  

Lord Wigram, Private Secretary to King George V, commented, "His Highness (the Maharajah of Kashmir), must have enlisted the services of some very skilful and scientific botanist to make such a collection...."

Seems little has changed in the intervening years.  What a shame that India has NOT followed Nehru's vision, at least as far as plant conservation is concerned.  It COULD be a world-leader in this respect, at least for the Indian Himalaya, with myself, very much following in the footsteps of Prem Nath KOHLI, as adviser.  I shall not be "holding my breath" for the call.  See below:


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